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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Week of dreams / I think you mean Dreamweek / I prefer my way better

I arrived back in Hamburg late Sunday night, but I haven't had time to write up my Paris trip, because it was back to work for me on Monday.

This week, we (and when I say we, I mean my employer Bigpoint Games) rolled out our Dreamweek event. What's Dreamweek, you ask? Good question. Let me tell you.

Dreamweek is a very ambitious project. It's part company-wide team building, part company challenge. In the preparation leading up to Dreamweek, employees had the opportunity to submit game ideas to a committe (also made up of employees) . From the submissions, a handful were chosen and the entire company voted to pick out the top two. The goal of Dreamweek is to conceptualize/program/produce the top two games - more or less from the ground up and within 7 days - launching a playable game to the public on the final day.

Of course, there are limitations to what is actually feasible to create within a week. But like I's pretty ambitious.

Adding to the challenge is the fact that almost every employee is involved in the process. However, not necessarily in their typical functions. PR people involved in the technical aspects, PHP scripters doing marketing or texting, etc. It's definitely different and comes with its frustrations, but ultimately it's very interesting to be involved with different areas of the game design process that you normally don't see. So really, it's also a clever management tactic as well. With over 400 employees, I basically only deal with maybe 10% of my co-workers on a daily basis (that's just mostly my department). It's kind of nice to find out who the other 90% are and what they do.

Also, there's catered breakfast, lunch and afternoon cake everyday.

Dreamweek is going on for another 3 days and my reservations from the beginning of the week are morphing in anticipation. I've been involved with the teams for both games and seeing the mock-ups and such makes me anxious to see the final result. Still, I'll be glad when Sunday evening arrives. Not just because I'll get to see the final product, but also because we're having a company party that night and then I'll be able to get back to a normal work pace.

I'll tell you all about Paris next week.

Here are some YouTube videos of the office atmosphere. The first is an interview explaining the concept of Dreamweek (only in German), but you don't need to know German to understand the other two:

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